How to Advertise an Event for Free

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Woman making phone call while reading over notes on clipboard
Woman making phone call while reading over notes on clipboard (Image: Szepy/iStock/Getty Images)

The costs of organizing an event can add up quickly, but using free advertising methods will make your budget stretch further. With a little creativity and work, there are plenty of ways to do this. Take advantage of the many resources that are available both in your community and online.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Computer
  • Printer

Gather the important details about your event. Consider what people need to know in order to come, including date, time, location, cost, the name of the event, and what will be happening there. Write down these facts.

Contact local media outlets to see if they would be interested in covering your event. You can write and send out press releases or make phone calls. A newspaper might want to do a story about for the lifestyle or entertainment section. Community radio stations usually have specific times when they announce local happenings for free. A TV station might even be interested. Show them how your event is newsworthy by pitching a story idea, such as an article about the family in need if you're having a fundraiser. You could gain publicity even if the event isn't the focus of the story.

Use social media to promote your event. Special event forums, city-based online threads, and of course, Twitter and Facebook at mediums that will attract thousands of readers and potential attendees. Free, online community event calendars are especially popular in areas where people are always looking for social, political and family-friendly events every weekend. Experiment with Craigslist advertising, too. Carefully review posting guidelines so you don't risk getting your announcement removed.

Create fliers on your computer and post them around the community. Grocery stores, coffeehouses and libraries often have bulletin boards for this purpose. Consider what type of people would be interested in your event, and focus on the places they'd be likely to go. For example, post fliers on a college campus if you want to attract young adults. Advertise animal events in pet stores and shelters.

Use word-of-mouth advertising and follow up with Internet invitations, such as Evites. Tell everyone you know about the event, obtain email addresses and encourage them to pass along the information to their friends, coworkers and relatives. Send emails about it to everyone in your address book who lives in the area. Using an organized invitation process can ensure you get a close-to-accurate count of attendees, in case you need to order food, gifts or other items for your event, such as hats, balloons or party favors.

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